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The 3-year rabies shot became available in 2011 but this reporter could not find a veterinarian willing to give it and that is still true in 2018.


November 6, 2018

Nel Liquorman, Cat Owner, Investigative Reporter


Most veterinarians will tell clients that they do not use the 3-year rabies vaccine because they are seeing more tumors. Do not believe them; the 1-year and the 3-year vaccines are the same.


The problem is that the change in the law caused veterinary income to be diminished! There are classes to teach veterinarians how to manage clients to make them feel that pets must have annual (or bi-annual) wellness exams which include multiple tests, allowing vets to sell costly treatments. That is needlessly traumatizing to pets in addition to being dishonest.


Thankfully now some vets are “outing” this bad behavior as “a fleecing of trusting clients.”


A veterinarian of 7 years gave up his practice to write about “being ashamed for being a veterinarian.” There are several other veterinarians being very open about current veterinary services marketing practices. Indeed, there is a rumor suggesting that owning a big house or expensive car could be influencing how you are billed by your veterinarian.


This all came to light when, after attempting to locate a local veterinarian who would administer the legal 3-year rabies vaccine, I turned to my County’s Animal Control for answers. Here’s why…


I had my cats vaccinated in 2011 per the rabies vaccine requirement and again in 2014. When I received a rabies-reminder from the veterinarian’s office, I responded that my cats had already received the 3-year vaccines. Then I was told that I needed to furnish them a rabies certificate and that my cats were still due for a wellness exam.


I emailed them back, explaining my position this way “Every visit, I have asked about 3 year vaccines, so I know your veterinarian's viewpoint on them. Since your reason for wanting a copy of the vaccine certificate is likely because you want to know where my cats received the vaccines, I will tell you that the rabies vaccines for my cats were administered by the Pasco County Veterinarian at Animal Control where they do a vaccine clinic on Wednesdays.”


Upon exchanging a couple more emails, this is what they told me about the rabies vaccines: "The 3-year vaccine is the same as the 1-year vaccine, and it is not true that veterinarians are seeing tumors as a result of the 3-year vaccines."


As a writer for the major online dog publication since 2005, I have done a lot of research on dog and cat issues (including those related to the food chain). I was therefore aware that some vets declined to give the 3-year vaccine.


So, I went to see the veterinarian at the Animal Control Department in the county where I lived, who told me to contact the State of Florida. I called there and was connected to the State Veterinarian. She gave me the email address for Dr. Richard Ford, who had been in charge of the testing for the new 3 year vaccine, and suggested that he could explain it to me in writing, as I was going to make this the subject of my next column at


The vaccination information that I got from my county’s animal control office was exactly what I had gotten from Dr. Ford in an email in 2006. Nothing has changed.


BUT… Here is a personal account of a veterinarian’s fleecing of a client. A young woman bought her children an expensive little dog about a year ago. Recently, I got a frantic call from her. The story was horrific, with the dog having had a liver test as part of the first annual wellness examine. Some liver count was found to be high and the dog was put on medication, (they had pet insurance).


Then the dog could not “hold its urine” after being on the drug. I checked and the dog food that she fed contained fish oil stabilized with mixed tocopherols (which are a mixture of vitamin E) and the FDA allowed it to be preserved with Rosemary Extract without putting that ingredient on the label. It is possible that the tiny dog had an accumulation of toxins in its liver but it was not picked up until it went for the wellness examine.


The owner’s bank account was a lot lighter after she had paid for all the tests, treatment, and insurance plan. She was so upset that she took the advice of a co-worker and bought another $800 pet insurance policy because she expected that she had a dog that would continue to have costly vet bills.


It is time for pet owners to confront County Animal Control at their State and County level and insist that veterinarians comply with the AAHA 2011 Guidelines by using the 3-year rabies vaccine.


For more than 7 years this has been the law in Florida and in most other states and not following the law is the same as breaking it. Pet owners must take a stand and stop veterinarians from taking them to the cleaners – and risking their animal’s health. Maybe it is time to let President Donald Trump know that the Veterinarian Industry is another swamp that needs to be drained. EST 2002 © 1811



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